The leadership team at Aunt Karen's Farm includes an array of artistic and art-loving professionals who come from a variety of backgrounds to build this ecologically sustainable incubator for art
Roger Bartlett is the original guitarist of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band. In the early days it was just Jimmy and Roger. After a year as a duo they added a band. Roger is also infamous as the singer and writer of the song "Fool for a Blonde" from the classic horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He appears as the leader of his own band doing his original music and as a sideman playing guitar for many other artists. He is currently a member of the rising artist retreat Aunt Karen’s Farm, helping to create a haven for writers, composers, dancers, actors, artisans and storytellers. Roger has shared the stage with many artists over the years. Some of the most notable are: The Eagles, James Taylor, Lightnin' Hopkins, Jackie Wilson, Heart, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Doobie Brothers, Jerry Jeff Walker, Charlie Daniels Band, Count Basie, Three Dog Night, the Drifters, Little Feat, and many more.
Seth Bauer (Playwright) was named one of the “People of the Year” for making a significant impact on the New York theatre scene. His plays have been performed throughout the US and in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. They are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, and Smith & Krause. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from University of Texas at Austin where he was a James A. Michener fellow. He lives in New York City with his partner, Elysa Marden. He is also the Executive Director of New York Classical Theatre. And when he can get away to rejuvenate and re-charge his creative spirit, he does so at Aunt Karen’s Farm.
Chris Bloom — A contemporary dancer currently living in NYC and working full-time with Ballet Hispánico, Chris is passionate about being on the forefront of the contemporary dance world. As an artist, Chris hopes to create and be a part of work that is bravely truthful and revealing. Since graduating from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Dance Program in 2012, Chris has worked and toured with Parsons Dance, The Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and Ballet Hispánico (among others) and has grown a deep appreciation for the quite spaces in life. Dance Magazine featured Chris in an August 2017 article, where he discussed finding balance in his artistic life. He is so proud to be an active participant at Aunt Karen’s Farm.
Morgan Boecher found his niche at Aunt Karen’s Farm where community, artistic expression, and natural beauty come together. He is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and author of the trans-friendly comic What’s Normal Anyway?. He carries an MS in Social Work from Columbia University and a BA in Anthropology/Gender Studies from New College, The Honors College of Florida. Travel, design, comedy, good conversations, and discovering new things are some of what he most enjoys. Morgan resides in Irvington, NY with his orange cat Pepito.
Gerald Fierst is a performer, writer, and teacher who has appeared throughout the US, England, and Asia telling original stories, stories from his own Jewish tradition, and stories from world folklore as well as leading workshops for teachers and students in writing and performance. He has been featured at numerous festivals around the world including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, TN. He has served as Artistic Director of the Jewish Storytelling Center at the 92nd Street Y in NYC and as a member of the board of The New York Storytelling Center. He received the JustStories Fellowship to create an original performance piece on the stories of the Abrahamic Tradition for national touring. His book The Heart of the Wedding was released in May, 2011. His audio recordings Monstrous Mischief and Tikun Olam: Stories to Heal the World are Parents Choice Award winners. He is online with scholastic.com inaugurating their storytelling web page Meet the Storyteller. His children's books Imagine the Moon and Bye, Bye, Big will be released by Plum Street Press in spring and fall, 2017, respectively.
Ri Lindegren (Elind Dance Videography) is a freelance videographer and dance artist who collaborates with numerous multimedia, movement, visual, and sound artists and supports social justice and community building endeavors. In the videography and administrative worlds, Ri has worked alongside numerous organizations including Aubin Pictures, Dance Enthusiast Magazine, Hunter College, Americorps, Gibney Dance Center, The Yard, The Renaissance Women Project, Urban Bush Women, BODYART Dance Company, Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company, and indie-rock band The Soon-Another. Ri’s choreographic solo and collaborative work has premiered at Abrons Arts Center, Triskelion Arts Center, Biomorphic Dance Festival, New College of Florida, and Realize Bradenton’s ArtSlam.
Madeline Rhodes is a New York-based actor/musician/writer/activist. Favorite theatre credits include Fun Home (The Public), The Country House (Manhattan Theatre Club). Film/TV credits include Not Fade Away, Law and Order SVU, Nurse Jackie. Madeline is the co-founder of Globerollers, a blog that chronicles traveling the world on wheels. The aim of Globerollers is to emphasize the necessity of accessibility while bringing humor and light to the chaos of rolling in a walking world. While at Aunt Karen's Farm, Madeline has collaborated on various writing projects, composed music, and prepared for acting roles. She finds great inspiration in the hay barrels on the open fields, the cuddly goose named Pip, and the continuous flow of artists with various disciplines in and out of AKF. She hopes to be a part of this community for the rest of her life.
Karen Shafer’s (left) career spans nearly 50 years as a not-for-profit arts and education administrator where she worked on over 100 productions with regional and off-Broadway theatres. Her work in education brought her to the Collegiate School, Windward School and Columbia University. She also spent two seasons on the ICE with a project sponsored by the US Antarctica Program. Now retired from Lincoln Center, where she worked for a decade, Karen remembers the transformative influence programs at the O’Neill Center had on her early years. She is placing her efforts on developing her Farm into a Cultural + Environment Residency Center.
Emily Trower-Young is the founder of Em & El Organics, a handcrafted organic skin care company, and a professionally trained wooden boat builder. Born and raised in Manhattan, she has been involved with Aunt Karen's Farm for most of her life and has been working with Northeast American farming communities for over a decade. She sources all of her ingredients from small family businesses and farms, including raw honey and beeswax locally from upstate New York. Emily speaks frequently on business and gender issues, and still builds wooden boats with youth in the South Bronx.